Central agencies are puppets in BJP's hands: Venugopal

Congress general secretary K C Venugopal. DH Photo

Alleging that central probe agencies have become puppets in the BJP's hands, Congress general secretary K C Venugopal said on Tuesday that these agencies were misused against party leaders ahead of polls.

Venugopal was reacting to the arrest of Congress MLA D K Shivakumar in a money laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). "Whenever there are elections round the corner, the drama of I-T and ED raids are staged. These agencies have become a puppet in the hands of BJP," Venugopal told reporters after a meeting with the party's election observers for the October 21 assembly bypolls.

Opposition leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah, state Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao and senior party functionaries attended the meeting.

Elections are due in 15 constituencies after the resignation and subsequent disqualification of 17 MLAs, comprising 14 Congress MLAs and three JD(S) MLAs.

Another Congress MLA and former deputy chief minister G Parameshwara is under the Income Tax scanner for alleged irregularities pertaining to medical seats in the Siddharth Group of Institutions linked to him.

IT officials also recently raided Jalappa Group of Institutions related to Congress leader Jalappa's son.

Venugopal claimed that there were many cases pending against the BJP leaders in CBI, I-T, and ED but they have been dumped in cold storage whereas raids are conducted only on Congress leaders.

"Raids on Congress leaders intensify especially when the elections are round the corner," he said.

The Congress general secretary was optimistic about winning the bypolls to all the 15 assembly segments.

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